Have you noticed small, brown moths in your headlights while driving home from work? Or, maybe swarming the outdoor lights and doors at your house?
The moths are harmless now but in the spring they will wreak havoc on your trees. The "Winter Moth" is most active in late November through the end of January. However, the damage does not occur until the trees begin to bud in the spring. Winter moths lay their eggs in the crevices and buds of ornamental trees (crabapple, pear, etc.) and hardwoods such as oak, maple, and sycamore trees. When the host trees bloom in the spring, caterpillars will eat the leaves and cause damage to your trees.
“We are receiving a lot of calls from customers asking about the moths,” said Gary Pederson, MA Certified Arborist at Lynch Landscape & Tree Service with locations in Wayland and Sudbury. “Remember, they are not harmful now but in the spring these moths’ eggs will become caterpillars which will defoliate your trees if left untreated,” Pederson continued. Experts recommend requesting estimates now so there is no confusion regarding expectations, pricing or timing of the application come spring. Too many people seek quotes when the problem has already occurred; this is better done before the winter moth caterpillar issues arise.